Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sharp contrasts

Jenna Bush was married in Crawford last weekend. I didn't follow the story very closely, and at least to me it didn't seem to generate a huge amount of interest. But then my wife pointed out the pictures to me, specifically the ones with the couple at the altar, with Reverend Kirbyjon Caldwell.

Over at the Anchoress (www.anchoressonline.com) there was this:

Things certainly seem upside down all over, don’t they? Looking over pictures of the Bush wedding this past weekend, someone commented that the Clinton’s would never have had a private wedding without the press,

“but if they did, they’d still make sure every story mentioned that the preacher marrying the couple was African-American. The Clinton’s never, ever missed an opportunity to pander or play the race card, although in such a case, it would be seen as noble, rather than racist. But the truth is, when you constantly need to go out of your way to mention someone’s race, or someone’s gender, or someone’s sexuality, it’s because you are conscious of it. And if you’re conscious of it, that means you’re not really “color-blind” or “gender-blind”. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. It means you’re fixated.”

And there was this comment on the same blog:

Seeing the photo [of the young couple and Rev. Caldwell, above] and reading your post reminds me of a long ago article about the two-man architectural team who designed the houses on Bush’s property. Both architects were gay, both worked and met extensively with Laura and Governor Bush — whom they described as completely gracious and welcoming, as well as completely interested in the most up-to-date methods of making their structures eco-friendly.

I find this all curiously refreshing. Bush has his faults, no doubt, but the perception of him as a reckless frat boy, racist and homophobic, is incorrect. There is a sense of class here. Now there's something you don't see often: a sentence with the words "Bush" and "class."

It's the idea of talking the talk and walking the walk. Last year, when global warming was at the front of the news cycle, much was made (appropriately) of Gore's sprawling mansion and its ginormous energy footprint. Less was made (unfortunately) of the environmentally friendly design of Bush's Crawford ranch. Yet quietly, without fanfare--there it was.

Much the same with this preacher; what a contrast with the "other" Reverend, and Obama's inability to explain his rapt attention for over 20 years in Wright's church. My guess is that Rev. Caldwell (who, by the way, is an Obama supporter) is more representative of what a "post-racial" society could be like, and certainly more in line with Dr. King's dream.

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